# Creating accessible crosswords

Often, crosswords* posted to Puzzling have at least one of the grid or clues in an image. For visually impaired, blind, and/or screen-reader using people, or those who can't see images for some other reason (firewall, bad internet connection, etc.) this can make the puzzles inaccessible and impossible to enjoy.

I am aware of tools for solving crosswords in an accessible way, however, it is site policy to "try to ensure that puzzles are entirely contained within [Puzzling]", so I would like some good way to host an on-site accessible version. If this method extends to non-rectangular grids, that's wonderful. But, I am mainly concerned with the standard grid with black and white squares. The clues of course should also be presented in an accessible format.

How can I make an accessible crossword puzzle, meant for posting on Puzzling Stack Exchange?

* here "crosswords" refers to any type of crossword - so "regular", or cryptic or anything else. I assume the methods transfer.

• should this be a Meta post? Dec 24, 2021 at 23:07
• @BenjaminWang, nope, Puzzling is for questions which are about puzzles or which are puzzles, it's just that the latter is more common Dec 25, 2021 at 0:27
• Could you add some example questions here to show the sort of one's you mean, I went looking myself, but there's a lot of wild and unusual crosswords on this site. Dec 25, 2021 at 15:15
• I can't use Imgur. Oct 17, 2022 at 11:16

Grids can be displayed using a fixed-width font (preformatted text). Here is the top portion of a recently posted crossword, because I'm too lazy to finish the whole grid. :o)

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|1  |   |2  |   |3  |   |4  |   |5  |   |6  |   |   |   |###|
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |###|
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |###|   |###|   |###|   |###|   |###|   |###|###|###|###|
|   |###|   |###|   |###|   |###|   |###|   |###|###|###|###|
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|7  |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |8  |   |###|
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |###|
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |###|   |###|###|###|   |###|   |###|   |###|   |###|9  |
|   |###|   |###|###|###|   |###|   |###|   |###|   |###|   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|10 |   |   |   |11 |   |###|12 |   |   |   |   |   |###|   |
|   |   |   |   |   |   |###|   |   |   |   |   |   |###|   |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

• I'm really interested in making a crossword work well with a screen reader, so if you could research in that direction and edit your answer, that'd be wonderful Dec 25, 2021 at 2:25
• @bobble Then it seems to me like this is more of a question about screen readers, rather than about puzzles? I don't think being a puzzle expert would be particularly helpful in answering this.
– Deusovi
Dec 25, 2021 at 2:30
• @bobble Why should I do such research for you? If you have a screen reader, it is a simple matter to see what it makes of my post. Dec 25, 2021 at 2:38
• @Deusovi a screen reader expert with no knowledge of puzzles would be completely lost in understanding how a crossword puzzle would be structured and formatted. It needs expertise in botg. Dec 25, 2021 at 7:57
• @PuzzleFerret Would they be "completely lost"? I think it's pretty straightforward to understand how a crossword puzzle looks, even if you're not a puzzle expert. Most people know what crossword puzzles are.
– Deusovi
Dec 25, 2021 at 19:38